Strike: Stand Up To Your Responsibilities, Resident Doctors Tell FG
President of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi has asked the Federal Government to stand up to its responsibilities and pay the salaries of the striking doctors.
Speaking on behalf of resident doctors on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday, Dr. Okhuaihesuyi criticised the Federal Government for failing to do its own job but rather blaming the doctors for embarking on industrial action.
“You can’t have signed an agreement with everything you have said and since 2nd of August when the strike commenced you haven’t called us,” he said during the show.
“The first thing you’re telling us is that we signed a document we are not honouring it, we need to resume work. They need to stand up to their responsibilities.”
He said that the Federal Government had mentioned that 46 resident doctors had been paid the “Death In Service Insurance but you are aware that we lost 19 members to COVID-19 and up till now no member has been paid.
“That is not state government; it is Federal Government because we know that most states do not even have health insurance for health workers or our members.”
He insisted that most of the doctors in the federal-owned teaching hospitals have not been paid “between 3-6 months salaries”.
A State Affair?
Despite the doctors’ insistence, the Federal Government is telling them to return to the hospitals.
The Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire in a briefing on Thursday asked them to resume work the following day as most of the issues they have raised are state affairs.
Dr. Ehanire said that seven of 12 matters that were raised by the striking doctors were the responsibility of state governments.
Consequently, he expects the resident doctors to resume work on Friday and take up these issues with the state governments rather than embark on the nationwide strike as they had done.
Some of the issues raised by the medical practitioners include the immediate payment of all salaries owed to all house officers, including March salaries (regardless of quota system) before the end of business on March 31.
They are also asking for an upward review of the hazard allowance to 50 per cent of consolidated basic salaries of all health workers and payment of the outstanding COVID-19 inducement allowance, especially in state-owned-tertiary institutions.